Summary: Just like weeds in our garden tell us something, weeds in the kingdom of God do also; these are attitudes and actions that can destroy lives. What are weeds & Why Control Them?
TEXT: Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43
“Weeds in the Kingdom” – Part 1
When I lived with my parents, you couldn’t pay me enough money to work in their garden. But once we bought our first house, I have discovered that I like to garden. I like watering, planting, & even weeding. As I began to work in the garden, I began to wonder: where do weeds come from, how do they spread, how do they grow so big so fast? The Lord spoke to me to study about them & then share what I had learned so that we can learn about weeds that grow in the Kingdom of God. These weeds may represent people, but more accurately they represent attitudes that hinder the healthy growth of Christians.
Webster’s: Weed - “plant growing where it is not desired.”
Among the many thousands of kinds of plants, only a couple hundred are undesirable enough to be considered important weeds. There are some weeds that thrive only in the wild & there are some that thrive only in cultivated areas. Besides making a garden look ugly, weeds rob desirable plants of nutrients, water & sunlight. Some methods work more effectively to control weeds, depending on their particular habits, & often it takes a combination of techniques to win the battle.
Why Control Weeds?
If you don’t control them, they will control you. The main reason to eliminate weeds is that they are out-and-out robbers. Most are aggressive plants; that’s how they survive in spite of much adversity. Their aggressiveness is often the characteristic that defines them as weeds.
(There are people who come into churches & just decide to take over. The problem is that the pastor didn’t get the memo. They rearrange the Sunday School classes, fire the teachers, order Presbyterian hymnals for your Pentecostal Church, & throw away the transparencies. They volunteer to serve as Secretary so that they can see what he does all day & where all the money is going. They get their way because of their aggressive nature. They aren’t afraid to speak up because they want to get their way.)
Weeds compete because they absorb more mineral nutrients & water in the soil around them. Many weeds have very shallow roots & can absorb the rain water before it seeps into the soil for the desired, slower-growing plants who have deeper roots.
Show “Weed-Transp2”(These are the people that are very shallow in their Christian walk and are “Ultra high maintenance”. They call the pastor every day to tell him what’s going on in their sad lives. They steal his time away from being able to pastor the whole flock. And it doesn’t work when the pastor tells the youth pastor to take their calls. They don’t want to talk to anybody but the pastor himself.)
Weeds can cause significant crop reductions: 10 to 50% or more depending on the circumstances. Corn plants growing without competition from weeds are taller, more vigorous, & better able to withstand drought & any insect or disease damage than the weedy corn growing right next to them. The weed-free corn yields more & the ears are fuller.
(When you have weeds in the congregation, it will take you a lot longer to get where you want to go spiritually. The pastor has to slow down the pace of leading to make sure that everyone is following. When the congregation is weed-free, the people are more committed & more fruitful.)
Weeds also steal light & space by shading lower-growing or less competitive plants. Adequate light is essential to plants because it powers the process of photosynthesis whereby green leaves convert the sun’s energy into things essential for plant growth.
The ultimate competition is achieved by parasitic plants, those that get all their nourishment from the tissues of a host plant to which they are attached. These parasites are almost impossible to control without destroying the host plant.
(Spiritual photosynthesis is when Jesus’ power is converted into essential things for our spiritual growth. There are those who poison new Christians into their mode of thinking. “What’s the use in praying for that? Doesn’t the Bible say that God knows our needs before we even ask for them? If He knows your problems & He was going to do something about, don’t you think He would have done it by now?” Or how about those people who say, “I’d rather die than have a homeless person sitting on my pew. They smell bad; they’re not wearing a suit; only God knows when they brushed their teeth last; And they’re soiling the pew just by sitting there.” Then there are the parasites who feed off of Christians. They won’t do any activity to help themselves grow. They depend on you to read the Bible for them & relay the important information. They depend on you to pray for them because “I just wouldn’t know what to say.” It’s not that they can’t, but that they won’t. There are new Christians that are still learning how to pray & there are those who have difficulties reading. I’m not talking about them. I’m talking about people who can pray & read the Bible, but they refuse to put forth the effort. They depend on you for the fresh Word from God. Their least favorite phrase is, “God helps those who help themselves,” because they’re too lazy to help themselves!